Where’s the best place to buy Bitcoin?
Seems like a pretty simple question to answer, you just Google it and choose the best crypto exchange that’s listed. But those that have been in the space long term – or hell, even over the past year! – know that not all exchanges are created equal.
You have ones that are legitimate but still end up on our Crypoto Exchange Bankruptcies list due to hacking, all the way up to those that are completely criminal in nature such as the huge FTX implosion that happened last year.
Then there are decentralized ones, peer-to-peer ones, crypto only ones, web or app based ones, ones that insist you “get verified” (KYC) with them and hand over all your private information and more. The seemingly simple question quickly turns into a multi-headed hydra.
As experts in the field we wanted to help make this critical initial decisions safe and easy for any Bitcoin Beginner. So today we’re proudly launching our new Cryptocurrency Exchanges List! This is a live list anywhere on the site and is always up to date, for example, here are the top five best rated Crypto Exchanges right now!
Existing Crypto Exchange Lists Are Bad
To answer this “where’s the best place to buy Bitcoin” question beginners often turn to Google which will point you towards other exchange rating websites. The problem? 99% of all their suggestions either require KYC, have outrageous fees ranging from 1%-4%+ or are simply sham “review lists” that put whoever pays them the most at the top.
There’s zero integrity, zero regard for your privacy and security and zero options that are non-KYC. This leads many beginners to think that buying non-KYC is simply impossible. It also leads to them buying KYC sats which causes huge problems later on.
Really, Really Bad…
But wait! Why settle for a horrific experience with high fees when you can make it worse!
As if all the above wasn’t bad enough, many sites flat out don’t list excellent exchanges simply because they don’t have affiliate programs or don’t cough up enough cash to be on their list. Others choose disturbing or incomplete metrics to rank exchanges such as what staking offerings they have or how many different shitcoins they support.
Why promote exchanges that push shitcoins? Because it’s super profitable for them and because beginners likely don’t know that There’s Bitcoin And Literally Everything Else, so why not make some money off them?
Not bad enough? How about the fact that most don’t even tell you how they rate the exchanges. Sure, they might give you hand wavy explanations like “we bias towards exchanges that deliver versatility” but what the hell does that even mean practically speaking? This is crypto, the whole point of it from the day the Bitcoin Whitepaper launched was to not blindly trust third parties and instead be able to verify!
Others let their user reviews determine their rating but there’s two key problems with this:
- It’s common practice for companies to post fake reviews in order to increase their rank
- Many users are beginners and thus, don’t understand the risks with using certain exchanges
This leads to highly questionable exchanges being highly ranked, even though they seriously impact your security and privacy. Many others will only list a small handful, typically 3-10, and not give you an easy way to sort through them based off their features.
Privacy, Security & Verifiability
So how is our exchanges list different? It starts with how we review and rate exchanges.
All the above existing problems led us to conclude that our rating system must focus primarily on the users security and privacy whilst also being fully open source and transparent. We outline not only what we review but exactly how we review it in our detailed Crypto Exchange Rating Methodology page.
All the exchange data we collect is open source and can be accessed in standardized JSON format. We also outline exactly how we review and rate exchanges right down to the last detail.
This methodology is converted to simple code logic and all exchanges are rated by code with no human interaction or bias. If an exchange supports a feature or security/privacy technology it will be given its assigned points and anyone, anywhere, at anytime can check and manually calculate an exchanges rating for themselves to verify our results.
In short: Don’t Trust, Verify.
Looking closer at the rating methodology, we rate cryptocurrency exchanges between 0 and 5 stars with 5 indicating a perfect exchange and 0 indicating that it has failed. The 5 stars are worth 10 points each, making up a total of 50 points. These points are broken up into two distinct sections: Privacy & Security (30 Points) and Features (20 Points)
As noted, we put your privacy and security first and above all else. A full 60% of the exchanges rating score is dedicated to privacy and security factors.
Paramount to this is whether or not the exchange is non-KYC and defaults to storing user funds in a non-custodial or private wallet. Any exchange that doesn’t adhere to either of these will be immediately disqualified and their overall rating set to 0.
Beyond these two initial criteria we also screen for other leading privacy and security preserving features such as being peer-to-peer (P2P), using end-to-end encryption (E2EE), being fully decentralized, being accessible via Tor and ensuring all code is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).
As outlined in our Beginners Guide To Bitcoin Privacy these are all things that are critically important for all Bitcoin users so we’ve made sure to build our systems to not only reward exchanges that support them, but make it easy to see which ones support what. This all leads to a very different list of top exchanges than virtually any other website.
Custom Built From The Ground Up
Our new Crypto Exchanges list has been custom built to be simple, fast and modern. We don’t “integrate with 3rd parties” and we don’t outsource the coding or reviewing either. This has all been built by Athena Alpha, for Athena Alpha readers. We’re Bitcoiners after all, so coding is in our blood!
The interface is simple and instant. Not fast. Not quick. Instant. Sort using easy and intuitive chiplets for all your preferred features. Want to see all the exchanges that have both an Android and iOS app? No problem. Want a Web based, P2P exchange that uses FOSS? You should checkout RoboSats and AgoraDesk.
You can sort based off a dozen plus features and get instant feedback along with the exchanges fees, ease of use and our overall rating score.
We’re launching with 16 exchanges with a lot more to come over the year and we will never accept “sponsorship” money to rate one exchange higher than the other. The list can also be quickly accessed via the menu at the top.
Finding The Best Crypto Exchanges
We’re not even close to being done either, this is just the start! While we’ll obviously be adding more exchanges, we’ll also be adding more features to the list too.
Currently we sort the list from highest to lowest rating score, but we’ll be introducing other sorting options such as via exchange launch year, fees or name. We’ll also be allowing you to filter out exchanges below a certain star rating and even search via payment methods that they support. An expandable section that shows further details on each listing will come eventually along with support for searching.
For now though, we hope you enjoy this new tool and if you feel you’ve gotten value from it or just want to support its further development, head over to our Support page and shoot us some sats or sign up to Athena Alpha Pro to not only support us, but get even more advanced content too.